DECEMBER was sunnier and slightly milder and drier than average, according to reports from Armagh Observatory.
However, summer 2012 was the fifth wettest summer on record at Armagh since 1795.
Last month, the recorded number of hours of sunshine was 56.7, which is about 40 per cent above the most recent 30-year (1981-2010) average.
The mean monthly temperature was 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit), a fraction milder than the most recent 30-year average of 4.9 degrees C.
The maximum air temperature was 13.1 degrees C on the 22nd, and the minimum air temperature was –6.8 degrees C on 12th. There were 21 days with grass frost and 10 days with air frost.
The total precipitation for the month was 71.1 mm (2.80 inches), less than 10 per cent below the most recent 30-year average for December.
Taking the year as a whole, the average temperature of 9.72 degrees Celsius was almost the same as the most recent 30-year average (9.71 C); the total number of hours of strong sunshine (1213.7 hours) was a little less than the corresponding average of 1247.4 hours; and there was slightly more precipitation (847.9 mm) than the corresponding average (813.0 mm).
A dry start and end to the year at Armagh was in contrast to the relatively very wet late spring, summer and early autumn.